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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Egypt’s Cleopatra: The controversy continues

Controversy over Cleopatra's skin colour continues as Egypt's state-affiliated media produces a documentary on the Pharaonic ruler.

The depiction of Cleopatra’s skin colour has been a topic of debate for centuries. The recent release of the Netflix docu-series, “The Lost Queen,” which depicted Cleopatra as Black, sparked a new wave of controversy. Now, Egypt’s state-affiliated United Media Services is working to produce a documentary about the Pharaonic ruler, promising to be far more accurate than Netflix.

Debate on Cleopatra’s Skin Colour

Cleopatra’s lineage is not entirely known, leaving much room for speculation regarding her skin colour. Some historians believe she was of Greek and Persian ancestry, while others speculate that she had African ancestry. This uncertainty has led to various depictions of the queen, with some artists portraying her as a white European and others portraying her as a Black African. The recent Netflix docu-series, “The Lost Queen,” chose to depict Cleopatra as Black, sparking a backlash from some viewers who argued that the depiction was historically inaccurate. Egyptian lawyer Mahmoud al-Semary went as far as to sue Netflix and seek a ban on the streaming service in Egypt.

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Controversy Continues

Now, Egypt’s Al Wathaeqya channel is producing its own documentary about Cleopatra, promising “utmost levels” of research and accuracy. The channel has assembled a team of specialists in history, archaeology, and anthropology to ensure that the research related to the documentary is subject to the highest levels of scrutiny. This move by Egypt’s state-affiliated media comes as no surprise given the country’s history of promoting a specific image of Cleopatra. The queen is often portrayed as a symbol of Egypt’s ancient civilization and a reminder of the country’s historical glory. However, the controversy over Cleopatra’s skin colour highlights a broader issue regarding the representation of historical figures. As societies become more diverse, there is a growing demand for greater representation of marginalised communities in media and entertainment.

Importance of Accurate Representation

The depiction of Cleopatra as Black in the Netflix docu-series was an attempt to provide greater representation for Black communities. However, some argue that this was done at the expense of historical accuracy. It is important to note that accuracy and representation are not mutually exclusive. Historical accuracy should always be the top priority, but this does not mean that representation should be overlooked. As more marginalised communities are represented in media and entertainment, it is crucial that their stories are told accurately and respectfully.

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The controversy over Cleopatra’s skin colour highlights the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment. While historical accuracy should always be a top priority, representation should not be overlooked. As societies become more diverse, it is crucial that marginalised communities are represented accurately and respectfully in media and entertainment. Egypt’s upcoming documentary on Cleopatra promises to provide “utmost levels” of research and accuracy. It remains to be seen how the documentary will depict the Pharaonic ruler, but one thing is certain – the controversy over Cleopatra’s skin colour is far from over.